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Facebook to share hardware design secrets

Open Compute Project to lead the industry in energy efficiency

Facebook has announced plans to share its precious server design secrets with the industry.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the scheme titled The Open Compute Project, will expose the technical specifications of Facebook’s new data centre and will enable it to share computer rooms with other companies. It is hoped that the initiative will train the industry on how to produce effective and efficient server systems.

Facebook is working with industry giants Dell, Alpha Tech and Intel to perfect the latest data centre, located in Oregan, USA. It has servers that are 38 per cent more energy efficient and 24 per cent more cost effective than the machines Facebook has traditionally used.

High-tech companies have recently come under fire for their extortionate energy and power consumption, so Facebook’s project could not have come at a better and more needed time.

No more secrets

Other web giants such as Google choose to keep details of their infrastructure under wraps for fear of competitors stealing their server design. It is likely that Facebook’s openness on this matter will only make the social networking site even more popular than it already is among the design community.

The project will aim to encourage industry-wide collaboration around best practices for data-centre and server technology. Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg commented: “By sharing this information, we will make it more efficient for this eco system to grow.”

Facebook now has more than 500 million active users, and profits for the first nine months of 2010 were £230 million.

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